Faculty – Zach Rudolph
Glass Blowing Instructor
I blow glass because I find it exciting to work with a molten material. I enjoy the qualities in the glass. It radiates heat and light from within it. I become hypnotized by the motions of working the glass. The glass is like egg shell, taffy, bubble gum, honey and stone, all in the process of making one piece. The different colors and shapes I find along the way to completing a piece are thrilling to me. I am entirely in the moment while working on the glass.
I started blowing glass in Seattle Washington, at the Seattle Glass Blowing Studio & Gallery in 1997. I was in High School and thought it was a really cool thing to do. As soon as I took my first gather of glass I realized that I must know how to blow glass. I continued my studies through an internship, and to this day I am captivated by glass as a material for expression.
I usually think up and sketch my ideas before I go in to the studio to work. However, sometimes I act spontaneously on an idea. I will see a form in the glass; I didn’t see before I started shaping. I will coax the glass in to shape by using steel tools specially made for sculpting, squeezing and tweezing the glass. One of my main tools is a folded up soggy news paper for cradling the glass in to a precious shape. I am striving to make a successful work of art every time I pick up a blow pipe. I’m proud when I see the finished product and it’s bold and beautiful. Further when people respond to the beauty with exuberance and excitement then I know I have successfully accomplished my vision.
My current work is based on expressing a spirit. I am making functional vessels with different color combination. I am trying to portray simplicity and colorful patterns. I want them to be elegant yet raw. My way of discovering each vessel is rooted in observing and then creating. I look for simple and natural objects. The purpose is to nourish the lives of people. I make pots, vases and containers that represent humankind and our ability to invent things for use in life. My intention is also for the glass piece to emanate with a presence of joy. I want people to view my work and be impressed by the glass’s transformation from molten to solid. I hope there is a sense of mystery and amazement by the audience. This is what I desire to show in my current work.